This articles describes how the Desk-Net module for Drupal exchanges data between the two systems.
For setting up the module and connecting Desk-Net and Drupal please refer to the post dedicated to the setup.
Desk-Net and Drupal can exchange data in a bi-directional way. Depending on where this process is triggered for an individual article we can differentiate between two use cases:
- Planned stories
- Breaking news and other non-planned stories
These two use cases simply differ in where the story originates. The subsequent exchange processes are identical.
Use Case 1: Planned stories originating in Desk-Net
These are the types of stories which are typically planned and coordinated with Desk-Net.
Once a story has been entered in Desk-Net most of the story's data is immediately transferred to Drupal. This immediate transfer can be restricted to certain status levels. If the story is not assigned to one of the triggering status levels no transfer will be initiated.
In Drupal the module automatically creates an article.
Now an editor can access the article, edit and then publish it.
Use Case 2: Breaking news - stories originating in Drupal
Certain stories cannot or do not need to be planned in advance in Desk-Net (e.g. breaking news).
Such stories can simply be published with Drupal. The module ensures the story appears in the story lists in Desk-Net. This way the story lists are kept current no matter where the story originated.
Subsequent data exchange processes / scope of data exchange
Once the initial set of data has been transmitted in either use case certain data is synced bi-directionally between both systems as soon as a change has been made to it in either system.
The plugin synchronizes the following data:
- Story description
- Assigned user
About 1. Story Description
If the story originates in Desk-Net it is being inserted as the title in Drupal. Subsequent changes either to the title in Drupal or to the description are not synced between these two fields.
However, a hard-coded version of the story description from Desk-Net is displayed further below on the article page in Drupal making sure the user always sees the current description when working in Drupal.
If the story originated in Drupal its title is sent to Desk-Net as the story description.
About 2. Status
Status levels are synced back an forth instantly between Drupal and Desk-Net (exception: if a status level is defined in Desk-Net as not triggering a data export).
Many of our customers use more status levels in Desk-Net than in Drupal where there are just Published and Unpublished. For that reason the module allows you to map multiple status levels on one side to just one on the other.
The Desk-Net status level is displayed further below on the article edit page in Drupal.
About 3. Categories / Tags
Just like for status levels there is a matching of categories in Desk-Net with the tags in Drupal.
Multiple categories in Desk-Net can be matched with just one tag in Drupal and vice versa.
About 4. Assigned User
Users are automatically matched based on their email addresses.
When a story assignment is handed over from Desk-Net to Drupal the module checks for a Drupal user with the same address. If that search is successful the post is assigned to that user.
It works identically the other way around with posts originating in Drupal and then being handed over to Desk-Net.
About 5. URLs
Desk-Net sends one URL to Drupal and receives two.
URL sent from Desk-Net to Drupal:
- URL to story in Desk-Net: When editing a post in Drupal the user sees a link called "View in Desk-Net" below the hard-coded Desk-Net story description below the post body. A click here takes the user straight to the story in Desk-Net.
Drupal URLs in Desk-Net:
- URL to post in Drupal: This link takes the user straight to the editing form of the article in Drupal.
- URL to post on the website powered by Drupal: This is the URL to the article on the website which is powered by Drupal.
The two Drupal URLs received by Desk-Net can be accessed in two places:
- Story lists: Hovering over a story entry opens a contextual layer. On the left part of the layer there are the two links mentioned above.
- On the Detailed Entry form: Hovering over the platform name opens a contextual layer with the two links.
About 6. Content
Desk-Net users can enter text and upload files such as video files to their assignments in Desk-Net.
If this content is related to the Drupal website it is automatically transferred.
Depending on the settings in the module files are either sent only to the Media Library in Drupal or - in addition to that - also straight to the post's body. Text is always sent straight to the article's body area.
Content is currently not transferred in any way from Drupal to Desk-Net. However, this is planned for future versions of the plugin.
End of data exchange
The data transfer stops completely or partially as soon as one of the following conditions has been met:
- The article is in status Published in Drupal: In such a case Desk-Net no longer updates the article's body, i.e. it no longer adds text, picture files, etc.
- The story in Desk-Net is set to a status level which has been set to not trigger the export of data to Drupal.